belemnite

noun
bel·​em·​nite | \ ˈbe-ləm-ˌnīt How to pronounce belemnite (audio) \

Definition of belemnite

1 : any of various extinct cephalopods (order Belemnoidea) especially abundant in the Mesozoic era that had internal shells and that superficially resembled and are regarded as ancestors of the squids
2 : the fossilized bullet-shaped remains of a belemnite

First Known Use of belemnite

1646, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for belemnite

borrowed from New Latin belemnītēs "bullet-shaped fossilized rostrum of an extinct animal," from Greek bélemnon "missile, spear, arrow" (probably from bele-, full-grade base of the verb bállein "to throw, hit by throwing") + New Latin -ītēs -ite entry 1 — more at devil entry 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about belemnite

Statistics for belemnite

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for belemnite

The first known use of belemnite was in 1646

See more words from the same year

More from Merriam-Webster on belemnite

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about belemnite

Comments on belemnite

What made you want to look up belemnite? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

of or relating to the heavens

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Summer 2019 Words of the Day Quiz

  • a-bowl-of-peach-sorbet-with-cut-peaches-next-to-it
  • Which is a synonym of desideratum?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!